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Mike and the Mechanics, Empire Theatre, Liverpool

Mike and the Mechanics have been away a long time. At one time the band was the epitome of good music, thoughtful, creatively intelligent lyrics that would make the heart ache and the soul sing.

Now seven years after the last album Rewired, they can officially be thought of being back to their best and amongst the highlights of the AOR scene to come to Liverpool this year.

The band’s personnel has changed since those heady days of chart domination and being everybody’s favourite other group. Joining the likeable Mike Rutherford on stage were his newest comrades in arms, the soulful vocals of Andrew Roachford, whose voice blended well with the tunes of old and alongside fellow vocalist Tim Howar. These two men added a completely new dimension to what the older fans may have expected from their evening out, with their close harmonies and interaction endearing themselves to the audience very early into the set.

Mike and his fellow artists opened up the night with The Road from the album of the same name, the beautiful A Beggar on a beach of Gold and the delightful Another Cup of Coffee.

There was a huge surprise for the Genesis fans in the audience, and as the first strained notes of the classic Genesis track Follow You, Follow Me from And Then There Were Three album were played out, the noise level within the theatre went up several notches. This diversion away from the expected was continued with the top ten hit of 1992 I Can’t Dance. If the desired effect was to get the audience up and dancing themselves then this departure away from The Mike and Mechanics set showed how much missed the Genesis music is and what it can do for a crowd’s satisfaction and appreciation.

Andrew Roachford’s career wasn’t forgotten and Mike generously highlighted two songs by his new vocalist in the songs Only to Be with You and the 1989 smash hit Cuddly Toy which had the audience once more on their feet and joining in with the party atmosphere.

Mike and the Mechanics finished a top night of scintillating music with the heart breaking In the Living Years, the enjoyable Over My Shoulder and the crowd favourite Word of Mouth.

by Ian D. Hall

Last modified on Tuesday, 24 May 2011 09:57

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